Monday, July 12, 2010

Guest Blogger Cate Masters

Please welcome author Cate Masters to Immortyl Revolution!  Cate is on her Authors Supporting Authors Virtual Tour.

Maddeningly creative?

by Cate Masters

Thanks for having me here Denise!

Last year, I found a very humorous and insightful video of Elizabeth Gilbert discussing the effect of creative genius on writersvideo. I’ve often felt that my stories come from somewhere else, The Great Beyond, not necessarily a specific “muse” assigned to me as writers so often ascribe their work. Gilbert described the poet feeling the poem coming toward her, and her sudden urgency in needing to catch it, put it to paper before it went on to find another poet who could translate it. Strange as it sounds, I think that notion’s not far off the mark. I believe there’s an immense writerly well of thought and ideas that percolates constantly, that sends out its signals and those of us with a particular sensitivity to it can capture it, some more astutely than others. That, I believe, is why similar stories appear at about the same time. There is no original premise; we all put our own particular spin on our stories.

Some stories, I’ve felt, have come through me fully formed, and I wrote as fast as I could to get it all down while its essence was still strong. This happened two years ago, when I happened across a description of a present-day mermaid show that coincided with research I was doing. What better place for a modern-day mermaid to surface than a real mermaid show? And who better to attract that mermaid than an indie rocker? The idea came together so quickly, I wrote constantly until I finished my contemporary fantasy novel, Surfacing, due out in August from Whiskey Creek Press.

Amy Tan’s discussion of creative processTanLink touched on the right and left brain function, and the possibility of an abnormal chromosome in creative people’s brains. Could creativity be caused by a physical ailment, such as temporal lobe seizures? If you fail to live up to your potential, blame The Muse Deficit, she jokes. Can you really be said to fail if you’re still trying? As Albert Einstein said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” I have felt the fortuitous serendipity of The Universe providing timely cues and ideas that I’ve layered into stories. LinkThe subconscious plays into it, because it is more well-informed than the conscious brain, and collects all the various necessary pieces, which our conscious brain can then connect into something (hopefully) coherent. Perhaps that explains why I'm such a strong believer in going with your gut. Your gut knows things. Things it will share, if you will be open to them.

Likewise with the two historical romance novels to be released this summer. I’d visited Key West years ago and its history captivated my imagination. I spent two days in the library, copying old articles and letters and anything I could find. I bought books from the local historical society. I visited two local museums. I actually visualized the story in a very powerful moment while at one of those museums, and it evolved into Angels, Sinners and Madmen due out July 27th from Freya’s Bower. For my Native American historical romance, I didn’t need to travel at all. I lived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for many years, and first learned of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School through a PBS special. After that, I’d drive by the graveyard of the students who’d died there and sadly wonder. Wondering led to visiting the county museum, which had an excellent exhibit on the school, and likewise to research the customs, legends and culture of the Lakota. Follow the Stars Home will be available from Eternal Press August 7.

We all need a little reminder of why we need to write, and that we’re not so crazy after all. Alternately, we could remember Mark Twain’s apt view: When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate online at
or follow her on Facebook

Cate, thanks for joining me today!


Cate Masters said...

Thanks for having me as a guest Denise! Sorry the links gave you trouble. :)

Arlene said...

Wow. Alot of interesting concepts here. I've bookmarked for a return read. Unfortunately, I have a fully active gene that insists my brain functions either not at all, or as a sieve once the sun goes down. Good thing I'm not a vamp, I'd never figure out how to get out of the grave.
Two books due out soon for you, Cate. Sweet! I've written one historical romance, and I see the allure of the genre now. I can't wait to read yours.
Great interview, Denise.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks Arlene! There are actually three, I just don't have a cover yet for Surfacing. :( It's a contemporary fantasy, but I still did quite a bit of research. Can't help myself!

Lorrie said...

Seems I'll have to work and expand my sensitivity. I do believe, at times, plot ideas fly right past me. lol. Kidding of course. At least I think I am.
Your mermaid story sounds delightful, Cate. And I'm looking forward to reading your releases.
I always enjoy your posts.

Cate Masters said...

Too funny Lorrie! I've never felt a story that strongly, but it's interesting others do. I believe in just keeping an open mind to the possibilities. There are tons out there.
Thanks so much for your kind words!

Anthology Authors said...

Interesting, Cate. I do believe that the Universe works in mysterious ways. When I was writing my new release, as I wrote the story and did some research to fill in the needed information, the history books verified the story I was writing. It was pretty wild. :)


Cassie Exline said...

Excellent blog. Just love it when the story pours out so fast the fingers fly across the keyboard. Can't believe I've lived so close to Carlisle and never knew that school existed. Just the car shows. Will have to do some exploring. Your books sound awesome. Will be watching for the excerpts and release dates.

Cate Masters said...

That's so cool Marci. I love synchronicity. :)

Cate Masters said...

Oh yeah, Cassie. We lived behind the fairgrounds, which is why we moved away from Carlisle! No more car shows, yay!
I definitely recommend the county museum, behind the post office. One exhibit's a life-sized photo of all the students standing on the lawn, and it feels like they're in the room with you. Very eerie.

Alice Audrey said...

I've had books flow smoothly, but I don't subscribe to the "it's already out there, you just have to write it down" belief. I work hard at constructing my stories. Before I came along, they didn't exist at all.

Cate Masters said...

Yep, construction's where the author comes in, definitely. I honestly believe there are no truly new ideas, but we put our own unique (hopefully) spin on a premise. However it happens, it is hard work to make the story come together coherently and flow, while keeping readers in their seats. Thanks Alice!